Brazilian Water Polo team members attacking referee Bela Komjadi during the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games: Short of funds, the Brazilians paid for their trip by selling coffee beans at ports along the ocean voyage route. The trip was grueling, and the team not only arrived in Los Angleles late, but also with rules of the game that differed from those accepted by the rest of the World. They appeared shocked when fouls were called against them in their 6-1 loss to the United States. In their second game, early goals by the Germans soured their team disposition even more and they began to blame the referee, the legendary Hungarian Bela Komjadi. When the final blew, ending the fay Luiz Henrique Da Silva, the enraged six-foot six inch Brazilian goalie, and his teammates bounded out of the tank and gave chase to Komjadi. At this point police officers stepped in to quell what was sure to become a full-scale riot.
Komjadi, who was credited with Water Polo becoming the National sport in Hungary and who was popular throughout Europe, regained his sense of humor after things had quitted down. “I guess I don’t know the Brazilian rules”, he commented with a twinkle in his eye. Olympic officials banned the Brazilian team for the rest of the Games.
Photo: Brazilian team members attacking referee Bela Komjadi
Source: A History of USA Water Polo in the Olympic Games; Photo (ISHOF)
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